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Thread: Reliability of T-5 fluorescent tubes using electronic ballests

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member John in herndon's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Default Reliability of T-5 fluorescent tubes using electronic ballests

    I have a 3 lamp fixture which used T-5 (the thin ones) tubes in a ceiling fixture. It has been very unreliable. I had the first on for 6 months and the lamps started to fail. Sometimes it would light 1 tube, or 2 and sometimes all 3 would light and 1 or 2 would go out after 30 minutes or an hour. I eventually took it back to HomeD and they gave me a new one even though the 90 warranty had expired.

    Well, a few months later and the new fixture is doing it again. I have examined the contacts and connections and removed and replaced the lamps. Sometimes moving the lamps works, sometimes not. I am sure that I don't have a second bad fixture, but who knows. I am sure that they would not replace it again. The manager told me that there is not a high rate of return on these fixtures.

    What gives? I might have a few hundred hours on the thing, and it gets, I am guessing, 8 or 10 turn no/off cycles a day. Do these tubes have a very short life? (they are quite expensive, BTW, $8-10 each). The fixture has 2 ballasts (electronic), one for 1 tube and the other servicing 2 tubes.


  2. #2
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX


    Some of the cheap fixtures will run the start heater filament at a high voltage and burn it out. If that happens the tube will be black at the ends normally.

    If the pins are clean and a connection is not a problem, Then you can turn the tube around and maybe get a bit more of life out of it.

    I would start by cleaning the pins on the lamps and their holder.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by DonL; 10-19-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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